The World Tourism Day is being observed in the country today like elsewhere in the world focusing the inclusive growth in the global travel and leisure arena.
The government and different organisations have chalked out various programmes, maintaining the health protocols due to the Covid-19 pandemic, to celebrate the day with the global theme 'Tourism for Inclusive Growth'.
To mark the day, Bangladesh Tourism Corporation organized a cooking show at 9am at the Parjatab Bhaban in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area while Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) to hold a discussion at 9:30am at the same venue.
Later, the BTB to bring out a horse carriage rally from the venue and parade different streets of the city.
President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the day wishing all-out success of the programmes marking the day.
The President, in his message, welcomed the initiative of observing the 'World Tourism Day-2021' in Bangladesh as elsewhere in the world. "I think this year's theme of the day 'Tourism for Inclusive Growth' will encourage universal participation in the activities of the tourism industry for economic and social development," he said.
Noting that the development of a planned, well-regulated and inclusive tourism industry plays an important role in creating employment and economic development in a country, Hamid said it is possible to achieve inclusive growth by exploiting the potential of the labor-intensive tourism industry through creating massive employment opportunities as well as involving the local population in the industry.
"We have to work according to a specific plan in order to present the diverse tourist attractions of Bangladesh to domestic and foreign tourists," the head of the state said, adding the development potentials of tourism industry in Bangladesh are very bright.
These potentials should be utilized to ensure participation of marginalized people as well as to attract domestic and foreign investment, he said, adding at the same time, the country's tourism industry should be effectively represented in the world arena.
The President Hamid urged all, including government and non-government organizations, to work together for the development of the tourism industry as well as for the national economic development upholding local culture, traditions and values.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said tourism is recognized as the most labor intensive and largest service industry in the world today.
"In the current context of Bangladesh, the importance of tourism is essential for the inclusive economic growth of the country including poverty alleviation, massive job creation and improvement of living standards of marginalized people," she added.
Noting that Bangladesh is a land of scenic natural beauty with rich culture and heritage, the head of the government said it is also rich in flora and fauna, and has numerous rivers, archaeological sites, religious places, hills, forests, waterfalls, tea gardens etc.
"The world's largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans is situated in Bangladesh. The largest unbroken sandy sea beach in the world is also located in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar," she said.
The vast haors in the north-eastern parts of the country, the hills in Chattagram division and lives of small ethnic people are some of the attractions for the tourists, Sheikh Hasina said, adding the emerald eye-catching greens of rural Bangladesh and its rich culture can also be an added attraction for the holidaymakers.
"Tourism has a huge potentiality in Bangladesh. Of late, it has emerged as an important sector of economic development with more and more domestic and foreign tourists visiting the country's tourists' destinations," the premier said.
Mentioning that huge employment opportunities are being created in the sector, she said the Awami League government has relentlessly been working for the development of tourism sector.
The present government has taken various steps to manage tourism activities through proper management maintaining the country's culture, heritage and ecology, the Prime Minister said, adding, "The tourist destinations should be focused to tourists from home and abroad through mass media. In this regard, I urge the private entrepreneurs to come forward spontaneously in flourishing the sector alongside the government".
"Let us work together and build a Golden Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," she said.